Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Obama's "Substance:" Poverty

As a supporter of John Edwards who has championed the issues of poverty not only in his campaign but also in his entire adult life, This is an issue of importance to me as it should be to all those who supported John.

So how do the candidates compare?

Looking at Hillary’s website she doesn’t even list poverty as an issue. So looking deeper I have found where in debates and speeches she cites her experience as Director of the Children’s Defense fund as proof of her commitment to fight poverty.

How surprising it is then what Marian Wright Edelman, the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund had to say about Hillary in a 2007 interview with Amy Goodman of Democracynow.com:

“Well, you know, Hillary Clinton is an old friend, but they are not friends in politics. We have to build a constituency, and you don’t—and we profoundly disagreed with the forms of the welfare reform bill, and we said so. We were for welfare reform, I am for welfare reform, but we need good jobs, we need adequate work incentives, we need minimum wage to be decent wage and livable wage, we need health care, we need transportation, we need to invest preventively in all of our children to prevent them ever having to be on welfare.
And yet, you know, many years after that, when many people are pronouncing welfare reform a great success, you know, we’ve got growing child poverty, we have more children in poverty and in extreme poverty over the last six years than we had earlier in the year. When an economy is down, and the real test of welfare reform is what happens to the poor when the economy is not booming. Well, the poor are suffering, the gap between rich and poor widening. We have what I consider one of—a growing national catastrophe of what we call the cradle-to-prison pipeline.”

Looking at Obama’s website you will find that has not only a specific issue section dedicated to Poverty he lays out a number of very specific proposals. Including:

· Spending on proven programs to help low income Americans succeed in the work force.
· Create a Green Job Corps.
· Expand the Income Tax Credit
· Improve minimum wage
· Low income tax credits
· Promote responsible fatherhood
· Create an affordable Housing trust fund
· Increase Community based investment in urban areas
· Invest in rural small business

In the area of experience Barack Obama created the Illinois earned income tax credit and sponsored legislation to make it permanent in 2003.

He also worked on several pieces of legislation to help provide affordable housing.

Which candidate has “substance” on this issue? It is clearly Barack Obama.

Sources: democracynow.com, barrackobama.com

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too little is said about Poverty and the effects of Welfare "reform." As we head into a recession many of those who have demonized the poor are in for a very rude awakening. Thanks for this timely information.

I could never support the Clinton's after creating such a horrific piece of legislature. I wrote to Clinton at one point asking how she could justify their version of welfare "reform" and supposedly being a children's advocate. I never got an answer.

2:12 AM  

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